Yun Zhong Ge the drama looks so beautiful I have no words. Gah, what is this magic happening? If the drama adaptation of writer Tong Hua‘s Da Mo Yao (Ballad of the Desert) felt like a balloon gradually deflating as my excitement and interest went from one hundred to zero in the court of the casting shenanigans, filming chintzy feel, and now broadcasting difficulties, then conversely the drama adaptation of its sequel Yun Zhong Ge (Song in the Clouds) has taken the opposite route. When it was announced that the maestro of crap Yu Zheng owned the rights to produce it I almost spit up blood and started seeing red. Then the casting calls were all over the place and I was hoping at least one lead actor would fit my fancy and then my hopes were sank when all three leads Angelababy, Du Chun, and Lu Yi were revealed. One can’t act and the other two didn’t fit the good looking requirement the books harped on. Then the stills started trickling out and the first peek actually revived my interest, especially with how gorgeous and sly Chen Xiao looked when playing guy3 Liu Bing Yi, who according to Yu Zheng might end up as guy1 with the most screen time. Then Yang Rong fairly blew my mind when I saw the first still of her as antagonist conniving bitch Huo Cheng Jun, she’s lost her baby fat from The Swordsman days and she’s got the fire and snarl in her eyes and lips, absolutely capturing the arrogance and splendor of the most powerful daughter in Chang An city.
This week I’m ready to roll out the red carpet and welcome YZG into my arms after seeing a boatload of new official stills, though it’ll have to wait until next year when the drama airs. I am absolutely blown away by the richness and colors of this drama, and how everyone actually looks attractive and fits the part. Who would’ve thunk it? Du Chun makes his Meng Jue older but the magnetism is there, his face resolute and with this depth in his eyes which projects Meng Jue’s conflicted torment well. Lu Yi is channeling Jo Hyun Jae in Seodongyeo so much in his Liu Fu Ling, both in terms of looks and this royal quietness that shows us the vulnerable man behind the distant Emperor. Su Qing captures the everyday girl element as Xu Ping Jun, exuding this warmth and ordinariness that makes me believe Liu Bing Yi would both feel comforted having her but still long for more. Angelababy is of course quite exotic looking and has this doll like face, but there are glimpses of fire in her eyes as well that give me hope she can bring Yun Ge to life. Ultimately Yun Ge embodies the “hope” and “dream” and “desire” of all three leading men and doesn’t shine on her own as a character. Yu Zheng wisely toned down his usual crazy over-the-top costumes and hair pieces and here everyone looks colorful without veering into the absurd peacock color scheme. Even if you never read YZG along with my translations, feast your eyes on these ravishing drama stills, which makes me writhe with agony wishing I had these to use for my posts translating the novel.
My eyes thank you, Yu Zheng. For once you may hurt my brain with your writing suck, but this time my eyes will only be rewarded with genuinely visual eye candy. Even if this story with its massive rocks fall down ending is sure to eviscerate audience hearts that aren’t ready for it if not having read the novel in advance. Or he could change the ending, just two slight tweaks in the last chapter and we have a happy ending ready.